Cincinnati police captain: Downtown is safest it's ever been

CINCINNATI -- Capt. Mike Neville said Downtown is the safest it’s ever been. 

There have been no shootings Downtown this year. Burglaries are down almost 50 percent, according to city data, and aggravated assaults are down almost 60 percent since 2017. 

Police presence will be in full force this weekend as more than 100,000 people are expected to flock to Downtown this weekend for the Cincinnati Music Festival, the Reds game and the Bengals training camp. 

Neville said officers will be on segways and bikes patrolling the riverfront this weekend to maintain a increased level of safety.  

But rough spots still exist Downtown, as they do everywhere. Neville said he knows Piatt Park, located on Garfield Place between Race and Vine Streets, is an area that needs to be patrolled.  

"We know that that's our hot item, and in order to address that we must be visible and vigilant everyday,” Neville said. “So each officer is responsible to spend time along that corridor and near the library everyday."

Louise Sokolnicki, of Anderson Township, said she doesn’t feel concerned for her safety when she brings her granddaughters Ellis and Charlotte to Smale Park. 

"It's mostly families, people all seem very nice, a lot of out of towners I've met,” Sokolnicki said. “I feel very comfortable. I come down here by myself, I walk. It's great."

Though the numbers point to a safer Downtown, Neville said he understands why some people might feel wary about safety in the heart of the city. 

"I respect it, I understand because it's different than where they may live or the neighborhoods they're apart of, but if you took it all in as the big picture, Downtown and the excitement of downtown or the visibility for the police, the commitment, I would say you're in a very safe destination,” Neville said. 

Several roads will be closed for the events Downtown this weekend. Click here for a full list of closures and alternate routes.

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